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Friday, July 31, 2009

Odessa Trip

I went to Odessa last night for the second phase of my sleep study, met with the doctor this morning, and yes, I have sleep apnea, so now I have a CPAP machine. While I was waiting to see the doctor, I took some pictures of just, some of the neat signs in town. For some reason Odessa has quite a few 1950ish signs, and I just love them! This is St. Luke's Methodist Church on 42nd street. The pipes look like something straight out of the oil field, which is quite fitting.

This is the Sherwood Shopping Center sign on 42nd.
Scott Theater downtown.
Ector Theater, just down the street from the Scott Theater.
One of the little stores down town.
Lassa Optical Company, downtown.
A beat up, old motel over near the hospital.
Drugs and alcohol near the hospital.
Desert landscaping at a spa downtown.

I also went to a cute little restaurant near the hospital on Sam Houston Street called Yana. It is owned by a German woman who stays in Europe most of the time; she has a good manager running the place, and they claim to specialize in European cuisine. I had baked potato soup and creme brulee. Shopping in Wal Mart and the mall was very exasperating. I swear there were screaming, bawling kids in every nook and cranny in Odessa, worse than Midland. To top it all off, I got a bad shopping cart in Wal Mart. It would have been perfect if all I wanted to do was go in a circle, so here I was fighting it every step of the way, and trying to ignore all the noise. I am ready for a night of rest!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Yesterday I flew home to West Texas. Have you ever wished you could be in two places at the same time? That's how I feel--torn between Texas and Montana. Flying was an all day affair, and I was glad when we finally got to Midland. We have actually had some rain here, and some of the wild flowers are still blooming. This one was beside the street, and I took the picture when I walked this morning. I have no idea what it is called, but some of these wild flowers are just goregeous. I have much to do to get ready for school, and there is a quilt top that needs to be finished, plus a pile of fabric calling to me. I guess I had better get off this computer and get busy!

1964 was a very good year....

...for dandelion wine. Here it is in living color--dandelion wine that I made when still in high school, and it hasn't even turned to vinegar. Amazing! It is still in my mother's basement, and I drug it out after all these years just to see what it was like. If I had the recipe I would post it.

Family Reunion

Uncle Bruce Dutton with his big, chocolate birthday cake.

The Dutton Family Reunion was held in Miles City, Montana this year. It was the best one I have been to, because we didn't have to slave over a hot stove and a sink full of cooking utensils, instead we were able to visit. I actually talked to some of my kin that I had never talked to before (we have a big family)! Uncle Bruce Dutton is one of the orginal seven Duttons, and will celebrate his 93rd birthday on August 1. He can still get on a horse, and his life long hobby was WORK--he loved to work. He is taking it easier these days, and that is good because he deserves a little time off. Happy birthday dear uncle!
If you click on this picture you will be able to see the ducks better. These are young, wild ducks that are getting some swim time in before the children of Miles City descend into the pool when it opens. There were even more ducks, but I didn't have a wide angle lense. Miles City has a pond with water from the Tongue River running through it for a public pool.Me with my mother, who will be 84 in December. Reunions are great, and very important for kids now days, because we are scattered to the four winds, and often don't have extended family around. Kids need family roots, so take time for family. As for me, I am already planning what to take to the silent auction in 2011!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Angus!

Ready, set....
EAT! Angus is getting after that birthday cake and ice cream.
Hmmm...too bad birthdays don't come around more often.

Angus is my great nephew, and he is a big boy-- just turned 3. God bless you, Angus, and may you celebrate many more birthdays, and eat all the cake and ice cream you want.

Where's the beef!

A couple of days ago I went with my brother to haul a load of dry cows to Miles City (they have a sale every Tuesday). Well, for all you city folk, I want you to know there is a lot of work, dirt, banged up bodies, and manure behind the scenes to put hamburger on your table. Cows get nervous when they are in a corral, and start heading up the chute into the cattle trailer. When cows get nervous and upset they get pretty "soupy" (if you know what I mean). I was running around the trailer trying to help, and of course, there was warm, green liquid shooting out the holes in that trailer like it was coming through a high pressure hose. It got on my forehead, clothes and shoes. I think all city folk ought to have to experience "going green" at least once in their life! I especially think Al Gore ought to have a good dose of it.
Americans are so blessed to live in a country where ranchers put up with calving in zero degree weather, feeding during sub-zero temperatures; they get covered in cow sh__ on a regular basis, risk their own money to raise premium beef, and hope for enough profit to pay the bills with a little left over so they can go another year. Agriculture is one big gamble because the weather, the prices, and animal survival are not guaranteed. And because of the rancher, we all get to walk into a nice air conditioned market, and buy meat that is clean and already cut up. So, the next time you start to gripe about the price of beef, just thank the dear Lord above that you didn't have to wade through any "green soupy stuff," get kicked, pull a calf, or work in the heat or frost to get the meat to your table. When you think about how easy you have it, the price will seem pretty cheap.
The cows are heading for the chute! Cows are not the most cooperative creatures, and sometimes the old heifers need a little encouragement. This yellow stick is designed to help them decide to do what the rancher wants!
The old biddies are heading up into the truck. So far so good.
OOPS! We have a jam somewhere up here. Cowboys have to be acrobatic too! Bill is hanging on the back of the trailer trying to get them to move.
Now, Bill is trying to get the old girls to move on up so the others can have room for the ride. Careful Bill! Don't get your fingers smashed. It's too late--you already have the green stuff on you (thank God for coveralls and over boots).
After we unloaded we stayed for a little of the sale. The cows didn't sell before we had to leave, but here is a pen of bulls that sold. Average weight for them is 1390 lb. @ $51.00/hundred.
Yard horses waiting to go to work.
The US has the best beef, so go have a steak, and be thankful that you live in a country that has such cheap, clean, wholesome food--thanks to farmers and ranchers like Bill.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Big Sky Country

I am now in Garfield County, Montana, enjoying the beautiful green landscape. Usually the grass is turning by mid-July, but the rains have come just at the right time.
This is one of the hay meadows.
The weather was cooler, and cloudy. Pictures don't do the landscape justice, but maybe you can get the idea of how big the sky is!
Jordan is the county seat of Garfield County, and it is one of the most land locked towns in the lower 48--no buses, no trains. You either walk or drive in and out. Jordan is tiny, but it is self sufficient with two bars, a emergency center, rest home, a drug store, and a really good grocery store. There are also six churches and a really good bank.
Anyone interested in buying a bar? The Hell Creek is for sale.
And who can pass up a milk shake, soda, or sundae? The drugstore still has the original soda fountain in operation.
Here are the Jordan cribbage players, Basquo, Allen, and George. The card games are held in the old fire hall, where Basquo lives. He is a retired Basque sheepherder who came to the U.S. after WWII. I asked him why he moved to the U.S., and he said he was afraid France was going to go communist after the war. He still goes back to France every year to visit all of his family.
The real fire truck has been moved out to a new spot, and the 1924 model is still in the old fire hall with the card players.
This is me on the antique fire truck after I crashed the card party!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

One more project (nearly) done, and many more to go!

One quilt top nearly done! It is so big I had to take it to the home ec. room to spread it out on the big tables in order to measure and cut borders. All I need is 10 inches on all the sides, sew the back and get it to the quilter, and I am DONE!

Monday, July 13, 2009

More about trying to catch up!

I have a confession to make--I am addicted to fabric. I love the way it feels, the way it looks, and all the dreams it evokes. Of course, my eyes are always bigger than my output. It takes way longer to make something than I every remember when I go in the store, and as a result I have lots of fabric stashed here and there just sitting waiting to be made. I decided this has got to change, so here is the first product of the summer--an apron for my dear friend Jackie. I hope she likes it, after all it has flamingos on it, and she will look HOT in it! I have enough fabric for another one if anyone is interested.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Trying to catch up!

This is cow tongue cactus, just one of the many cactus species that thrives here in the desert. On Friday I went to the new, local doctor to see if he would give me a prescription for a sleep study. After lots of quizzing he did, and so I called a place in Odessa to see if they could get it done before school starts up in August. She said, "How about tonight. I have had a cancelation." "Well, heck yeah!" "Be here at 9:00." I was there promptly with my pajamas, and toothbrush. The lady asked me if I really wanted to do it because the AC was out, and it had been 105 today, and the building wasn't insulated very well. Do you get the idea she didn't want to do it? The building didn't feel too bad to me, and I asked if they had a fan. "Yes, we do." If you ever have this done take an aspirin or some type of pain killer, because there was an electrode stuck to the back of my head, and I had to lay on it all night! Also, be sure to put a piece of tape on the little, piercing blue light on the fan. I do not have any results yet. The next morning I did go to Wal Mart and Lowes with my hair all messed up with the glue they used to stick the electrode to my scalp with. You know country gal is not going to waste a perfectly good trip to town even if she looks like....................

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What do you hate the most about coming home after being gone for several days?

For some it is the washing, and others it is the yard that has grown a foot, or if hubby was at home while you were gone...there may be a lot of dirty dishes. For me it is this thing! It's an old scale that I bought in an antique store in Winnett, Montana. It's definitely not a digital model, and I'm not sure it weighs accurately, but it does weigh consistently. My eyes have not seen a set of scales in three weeks, and I dread getting the verdict. I haven't got on them yet (going to let my body get used to the new climate). I will let you know in a few days exactly how good my trip to Illinois really was!
We have had rain here in the Permian Basin, and there was actually green grass in some of the pastures. When I left the only thing green was the cactus and mesquites. The cactus on top of my porch looked like it had grown, and the stray female cat that my neighbor and I have adopted is about ready to have kittens. Anyone one want a kitten? I think it was about 103 when I got home Wednesday afternoon. It is definitely summer in West Texas.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Farewell to Kincaid, Illinois...

Tomorrow I will be flying back to Midland. So, I just want to tell you a few things about this little town that I have enjoyed for the past three weeks. Kincaid, Illinois is about 80 miles northeast of St. Louis, Missouri, and about 20 minutes south of Springfield. You could also call it Tri-City, because just across Highway 140 is Bullpit, population 250, and then across the tracks to the south is Jeiseyville--all of them run together, and the only way you know you are in one of these towns is by the signs.
Coal mining used to be a major industry here, but they shut the mines down in the 90s. This was high sulfer coal. Agriculture has always been a big business here--corn and soybeans.

Like just about every little town that I have seen in Illinois, Kincaid has it's own water tower, and the tap water is soft enough to cook beans.

They have their own school, complete with football field, even though Taylorville, a town of 11,000+ is only 6 miles down the road.

Fishing is one of the popular sports here, because there are are several lakes right here with lots of cat fish in them, so if you can't find a singing bass to hang on the wall, get a mail box!

Early morning sunrises come through the thick mist.

Trees grow tall and thick and lap over each other in the middle of the road in some places, and everywhere you look it is green.

Underbrush along the creeks is so thick you can't see through it. There are beautiful homes, some prettier than others.

Yards are green and mincured, and beautiful flowers grow effortlessly.

Lilies are everywhere. Day lilies grow along the side of the road like wildflowers.

Wild daisies grow about three feet tall.

They even have yucca that can stand the wet weather. You can see the leaves fall over and are not spiny like the ones we have in the desert.

There is so much moisture that seeds germinate and grow in the pickup beds.Corn fields grow right up to the edge of the little city.

And believe it or not there is only one dump in this fair city. Good bye Kincaid. I will miss you, and I pray that you prosper.